When the topic of mass incarceration is raised, Black men are often the center of the conversation, due to the large numbers being held behind bars as a result of unfair sentencing and discriminatory policing. However, Black women have increasingly come to represent a significant portion of the prison population and activist Jamila T. Davis is making it her life’s work to speak out against the over incarceration of Black women whom she said are “forgotten.”
Davis, who was formerly incarcerated herself, is co-founder of Women Over Incarcerated, an advocacy group rallying for sentencing reform, particularly when it comes to the lengthy sentences of non-violent, female federal offenders. Unfortunately, the author and speaker has faced ridicule for her work, with people questioning why she’s fighting for one group of people — Black women — and not another.
“I just came home 18 months ago and I’m risking my life because there can be retaliation,” Davis shared. “I’m still on federal parole. But you know what’s more important to me? The cause. And I have to say in my case, if I have to die for the cause, then that’s what I was placed on this earth to do.”
Check out the video above to hear how Davis is fighting for Black women behind bars.